Home Entrepreneurship How Freelancers Got Affected Due to COVID-19

How Freelancers Got Affected Due to COVID-19

by Olufisayo
freelancing in 2020

With the emergence of the Novel Pandemic, the Coronavirus, the whole world is at a lockdown. Almost 4 million people over the world have been tested positive for this disease. There is still no hope of a vaccine within one and a half years.

Essential businesses are open to ensure the sustenance of people. Although most work around the world cannot go online, those companies that can afford to do it, have taken things online. Companies are still trying to figure out how to survive, while some have asked for stimulus packages from the government; some have taken a different route.

One thing is for sure, is that this Novel disease has scratched everyone from bottom up. This disease is mostly impacting those not working from home. So, what about those who have always been working from home? Anyone with this information will conclude that freelancers are not suffering from this disease, at least not their client.

It’s a misconception, as this is not how the economy functions. The freelancers get clients who operate in the market. And as of now, the Coronavirus has put us into a significant economic rift.

So, it is also likely that freelancers will now be able to close fewer clients. Moreover, the charge and rates of each gig would be significantly different as businesses are struggling to make ends meet. In conclusion, freelancing in 2020 has become difficult.

Some freelancing gigs are booming even in this crisis. For example, food delivery and driving gigs are still in high demand. They see a boom in the industry as people are stuck at home. People need their essential deliveries made by exactly these freelance workers.

Instacart has seen their demand skyrocketing, thanks to the deadly pandemic. People are more likely to stay at home and order their essential deliveries than to venture around super shops.

Reports suggest that Instacart’s download for the month of March increased by a whopping 218 percent. However, these freelancers in the economy are facing significant health concerns. They are working from the front-line amidst the pandemic, and they are more prone to this deadly disease than anyone else.

There has been some recent development in France regarding freelance drivers. According to a new ruling by their court, these drivers of ride-sharing apps should be considered an employee of that particular ride-sharing app. The reasoning behind it was that these drivers could not set their prices for a specific ride; hence they cannot be considered independent contractors.

Payoneer, one of the largest payments companies for freelancing, has recently published global data that gives us a picture of the current economic situation of freelancers around the globe. According to Payoneer, 32% of the freelancers have faced a decrease in demand due to COVID-19. On the contrary, 40% of the freelancers in the survey said their business is operating normally or continuing to grow.

More Payoneer data suggests that three-quarters of freelancers are paying the same rate as before. In contrast, the others have no choice but to be satisfied with lower rates. But, there could be an overall increase in the annual rate of payment for these freelancers as data suggests the hourly rate has increased by two dollars.

While a lot of freelancers are losing clients, a lot of freelancers are gaining clients. The difference between the two stories is decided by the type of work and strategy of the freelancers.

One thing that is clear from the upheaval is that this pandemic is here to change the culture of work around the world. We will likely see a world where people will be working from home more often. The freelancing economy is about to get bigger as well. More companies are thinking about hiring freelancers to do their work.

It is evident from the incidents that, more often than not, gig workers are more apt and productive than regular employees. And since they already work from home, this new economy seems to be tailored for freelancers.

This is what the CEO of Pochmak, a tech company operating in the USA and the UK, had to say about the current situation, “Most of our experts are the US, and there are no rate reductions on our platform.

We provide industry expertise to institutional investors, and our pricing remains steady across all industries. On the other hand, we expect the recovery of the investment industry post-Covid-19 will see growth in projects as more investment opportunities show up.”

As we near the halfway point of 2020, we are realizing more and more that this situation could last for a long time, so long that the current work practices will become the new norm. But, should freelancers fear? Experts do not think so.

The freelance revolution will get a jumpstart with Coronavirus around as companies will start looking for ways to make their work get done. So the growth of the freelance economy can only accelerate from this point.

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